Hoang Nguyen (Hank)
I was born in Viet Nam and at the age of 9 had the privilege of immigrating to the United States of America.
My first love affair with a camera started after I secretly "borrowed" my dad's Nikon N4004s camera to take photos of a Vietnamese New Year festival. Dad eventually did not mind and so I was no longer "secretly" borrowing his shiny camera. Though, I enjoyed shooting, it was extremely expensive for a student to buy film and batteries and pay processing fees after every event coverage. In addition, with school and work in the way, my relationship with photography had to be put on hold.
Then in 2012, 5 years after college and with more spare time, I bit the bullet and bought my first digital camera that was the Nikon D7000. With the help of friends who were already in the industry and the plethora of educational videos on Youtube, I was able to quickly learn the craft. For the first year of owning the camera, I basically slept with my iPad watching and following educational videos.
What was my major in college and why am I no longer in that field you may ask. I graduated at the University of South Florida with a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering. After 3 years of sitting behind a desk staring at 2 monitors and 3 walls while drafting structural drawings on Revit, CAD, and SDS, I was on the verge of losing my mind. Then during lunch, a dear friend from California asked "I don't get it, why do you keep doing what you're doing if you don't love it." Though, she probably did not mean a complete career change, I took it as such and decided that it is time that I pursue my true passion.
Even though photography has been a tough industry to be profitable in, I believe I speak for the rest of my team when I say that we enjoy being photographers and videographers; and at the end of the day, that is what's important to us.